No other river in the entire world has inspired so many poets, musicians and painters to create their masterpieces about the “Blue Danube” (just to mention the most renowned waltz from composer Johann Strauss). The Danube is navigable for 2415 km (1500 miles), and via the Main-Danube canal links the Black Sea with the North Sea. For millennia one of Europe’s most important waterborne trade routes, the Danube continues to play this role today: it makes up part of the European Union’s Corridor VII that traverses the continent. Not surprisingly sailing the Danube has also become increasingly popular with holidaymakers since a cruise on this great river is a unique and unparalleled experience. Nowadays over seventy cruise ships ply the Danube regularly between Passau and Budapest sometimes going as far downstream as the delta.
One does not have to take a long cruise to savor the attractions of the Danube though. Shorter trips in a self-propelled kayak also offer the possibility of exploring the lure of individual regions, or cities and experiencing the unique marriage of natural and man-made beauty from an ideal perspective-from the river itself. Budapest is a special gem on the blue necklace of Europe called the Danube so take your time to marvel at it just as you would at the sight of the most precious stone in a real necklace.
The Hungarian section of the Danube is 417 km (258 miles) long and it takes 25 km (15 miles) from the northern border to reach the southern border of Budapest. The average flow speed in the city is 4km/h (2,5m/h) at an average flow rate of 2000 cubic meters/second (21530 cubic feet/second). The most accurate water level gauge within Budapest is positioned on the Pest side in front of the Concert Hall (halfway between the 1647 and 1647 km markers) where an average reading is approximately 270 cm (106″). It is interesting to know that a first degree flood alert would mean 620 cm at the same gauge, 700 cm (276″) would be second degree while 800 cm (315″) would be third degree.